Welcome back!

I’ve got a hot cup of Yerba Mate from Samovar Tea in San Francisco. How about you? Share what you’re drinking by hitting reply and letting me know directly.

There’s an audio version of this post and a blog version, too.

My new friend Abraham is a carpenter from Kenya. He asked me if I could write on the subject of carpentry. If I could, I would ask Abraham to build us a table that could seat 26,500 people. (By the way, after asking you to unsubscribe, I gained almost 1000 new subscribers.)

If Abraham could build me that table, we could all sit together and connect across a meal. We could smile, laugh, share miseries, and build even stronger on these bonds you don’t even know you have.

So far, the ONLY table I have that fits you all is The Secret Team. It’s not nearly as beautiful as Abraham’s work. And we haven’t used it much like a table.

THIS IS YOUR INVITATION TO BELONG

My goal with this newsletter is simple: I want to share with you ways that I think you can do your business better. But as you’ve come to expect, I do this in a very different way than most letters. I rarely talk about business formulas. I talk about human interaction. I don’t give you a list of must-buy tools. I share recipes. And this newsletter, itself, is a living recipe of what I want to build with you.

All that I do with this newsletter is to help and equip you to do two things: 1.) feel like you have a place where you belong, and 2.) give you the tools to build your own network of valuable relationships.

WHAT HELPS US BELONG? INGREDIENT 1: FAMILIARITY

The sense of belonging first comes from something inside of us. We (most of us) have a sense of “I hope they’ll like me” or “am I in the right place” or “I have something I could contribute” (or all three) always bubbling right under the surface. So start with knowing that. We all have those feelings bubbling around in us, whether we want to admit it.

When we walk into a place (or any new situation), we ask: “what’s familiar?” We WANT there to be some kind of anchor to “something we know.” I walked into a party in LA where I didn’t recognize anyone and I felt very uncertain and uncomfortable all at once. Until I saw Jonathan Brewer standing there.

Pow. I felt like I knew someone so I could then cluster with Brew, and then connect with people a little bit at a time. Instantly, I had the familiarity I needed to venture forth.

This is the same with a new job. We cling to what we know, and we are twitchy about those things we don’t know. If we go to a foreign land, we’re willing to try the new food, but if we see McDonalds, some part of us will sigh with relief.

INGREDIENT 1: Familiarity helps us feel like we belong.

WHAT HELPS US BELONG? INGREDIENT 2: A SENSE OF BEING WELCOME

When people join my Brave New Year program, and join the group, the first thing all 150 or so brave superstars in the group do is we welcome the newcomer. Sometimes, we get a dozen or so responses. Other times, we get 30-50. No matter what happens, it sure beats showing up somewhere and feeling lonely.

Think about your own business. Are you helping people feel welcome? Heck, on my website, I even have a page for newcomers. STEAL THAT IDEA!

INGREDIENT #2: A SENSE OF BEING WELCOME

WHAT HELPS US BELONG? INGREDIENT 3: A WAY TO PARTICIPATE

As a kid, I played superheroes with my friends all the time. I’d be Batman or Green Lantern, and someone else would be Superman or Hulk or whoever they liked. When play went well, we all contributed to beating the bad guys. When it went poorly, the kid playing Superman would say that only he could defeat the villain. This story, 30 years later, is half of what feels horrible with work, with how others self-promote, and more.

Everyone has to feel like they can participate in some way. If we don’t allow for that, all these experiences feel less helpful, less part of us. We have to contribute or we’ll start to tune out.

How are you encouraging people to participate and do their own successful experiences? Note that I’m not asking you to teach people how to participate in YOUR success. How do you help them participate on their own projects in some way? What can you give people?

INGREDIENT 3: A WAY TO PARTICIPATE

YOU HAVE A PLACE HERE WITH ME, WITH US

To be part of Human Business Works is to believe in sustainable, relationship-minded business. That means that you intend to be able to live doing what you do, and that you believe relationships are the key to building a business (or organization) of value.

What comes next, however, is learning how to build this into a network of value. You and I have work to do. We need to tap into the brilliance of everyone here. We need to recognize each other’s greatness, patronize each other’s businesses and organizations, and learn from each other, and not just from my email.

That’s what’s coming next. For now? Just let me know if this is something you believe in, and somewhere you’d like to belong.

Fair? Let me know what you’re thinking.

–Chris…

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Comments

  1. Ah, an excellent message. I love going on the blogs of others and telling them how marvy they are and then sharing it with others. It is damn near magical too how supporting others is one of the finest tools we have for self-promotion.

  2. I’m so glad you are now posting these newsletters online!

    I think a sense of feeling welcome can absolutely make it or break it for some people. That and feeling as if they can contribute value (your participation ingredient). Inspiring curiosity must fit in there somewhere too! :)

    I love your Sunday emails, Chris! Thank you!

  3. Wally Peterson says:

    This is one thing I WILL NOT unsubscribe from. Love the email updates, and I try to share whenever possible.

    Earlier this year I made it my mission to promote others as much as possible this year in the spirit of serving. I write for several sources, ranging from social media to trading markets, and I try to make it a point to promote someone I am familiar with or have worked with/for anytime I can squeeze it in.

    In a recent series on social media for businesses, you (Chris) were my first recommendation to readers as to who they should follow for cultivating real and human interaction in their online activities. I also shared you with a LinkedIn group or two in some conversations, and several folks have thanked me and told me that they have subscribed.

    Can’t say enough good things. Keep up the fantastic work!

  4. my comment below. My disqus profile was wacky, fixed.

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